Welcome to the pinnacle of winemaking in the Lazio region, Omina Romana. The winery is located on the hills near Velletri, 40km south of Rome at an altitude of 200 metres – and this location is what enables Ômina Romana’s vines to thrive. During the day, cool breezes blow in from the Tyrrhenian coast, while at night, wind flows down from the Alban Hills, and together they create the ideal conditions for healthy vine growth. As the name suggests, this family run winery is dedicated to bringing good omens to Lazio winemaking, and they boast an exquisite collection of world class wines that are restoring the reputation of one of the oldest wine regions in the world.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your winery?
My father, Anton F. Boerner, who has always been a wine connoisseur and highly knowledgeable about the history, archaeology and culture of Italy, decided to buy, in 2007 a single plot of land, more than 80 hectares and, after some deep studies together with both German and Italian Universities, funded the winery which went on to become Omina Romana.Its challenge was born precisely from the place the vinery was created in: Velletri, within the Castelli Romani area, 15 miles South of Rome, surrounded by the Alban Hills and next to the Mediterranean Sea coast, an ancient volcanic zone.Even if it has been considered as one of the most time-honoured winemaking areas in Europe, as it traces back to the Ancient Roman and Etruscan ages, the real potential of these areas has not been used to the fullest. My father studied the microclimate and the soil, which have unique features when producing high-quality wine is concerned, allowing it to compete with the “noblest” areas all around Italy, oenologically speaking. I have been working full-time as the CEO; seeing how we have succeeded in producing a high-quality wine, recognized as such by the most refined markets is very exciting.
How do you normally enjoy drinking wine?
For me, every occasion is good to drink Omina Romana wines, paired both with simple and more complex dishes, both during the milder seasons. Both in the case of a business lunch or with friends, which I love to welcome on my property as I cook a mouth-watering barbecue, it is always a pleasure to discover some new features for our wines, based on their different production years.
Where is your winery located and what are the unique features of wines from your geographical location?
This is a subject I am very passionate about, which I like to describe carefully, even if I always try not to be too technical.Due to a series of factors, Omina Romana can boast a one-of-a-kind “terroir”, something unique all over the world, as it is based within a hillside zone, volcanic in origin and featuring many layers, therefore standing on a highly mineral soil. Furthermore, our geographical position, due to a series of interconnected elements, benefits both from the cold currents which are channelled by the hills spreading from the Gran Sasso Massif and move through the Lepine Mountains and from the sea breeze. Such a combination of currents creates differences in temperatures that prove to be perfect for the best balance between the growth and the ripeness of our grapes. Every area of our vineyard has been studied based on its optimal features to graft every varietal we have selected. Moreover, thanks to the mild climate the area features year-round mild climate, we seldom experience freezing and hails, unlike other areas of Italy. Therefore, our grapes remain healthy, and that’s a very good advantage!
How does local history and culture influence your lifestyle and winemaking?
Living through the company and its day-to day activities has proven crucial for me, as I have both Bavarian origins and an Italian mother; therefore, I would have never had the opportunity to understand and foster my oenological knowledge, had I not started living daily with our agronomist, our oenologist and the 30 full-time employees who work passionately and with commitment every single day. Having built a working team united by the same passion for creating something special is what gladdens me the most. Furthermore, living “on site” allows me to enter the local culture completely and protect our wholly “made in Italy” products.
What is your best memory of winemaking, so far?
I have a wealth of memories, as every year is always different from all the others, and it is always very challenging. I always remember my first company harvest pleasantly: seeing the result of fine-tuned activities, both through technological tools and manual labour (always according to the MENS ET MANUS, our concept) month after month is always thrilling.Experiencing the perfumes and tastes of a wine made up by knowledge, but also by craftmanship and feeling is always an extraordinary achievement.
Tell us what wine represents for you?
Wine is a family tradition that has become a burning passion over time I am at my happiest as spend, when I can, my free time walking among the rows and olive groves of the property together with my dogs Atos and Alba, who are my other vital passion.
What do you think about the future of sustainable winemaking?
(Please also tell us about anything you are doing now or plan to do in the future)
Especially most recently, following the worldwide pandemic we have all experienced, the need to protect the environment in which we all live has become even more relevant.The concept of sustainability is increasingly becoming a reality to this important need, a theme to which Ômina Romana has always been very attentive.In the field of winemaking, "sustainability" means having a significant respect for nature, following its rhythms and making sure that human activities are in harmony with nature, from the earliest stages of cultivation to the final transformation of the grapes as well.As for us, first of all we do not use chemicals to preserve the health of our vineyard, but we implement eco-sustainable tools instead, thanks to bio-industries, which multiply the beneficial insects so-called "natural antagonists", so we can restore the balance of the entomofauna in a natural way to safeguard our crops or ornamental plants. We have also chosen to make a limited use of tractors in the vineyards, leaving most of the interventions to manual work, as well as phytodepuration through plants and settling tanks, where the water used in the cellar for the machinery is purified in a natural way to be later reused for garden irrigation.The design choices made by Ômina Romana are demanding and have always been the result of passion, rigor and love for the environment, which especially now, is a duty we must all join in.